Taxonomy and History
Synonyms : Aranea hirtipes, Mygale hirtipes, Mygale versicolor
- Described By: Walckenaer, 1837
- Genus: Avicularia
- Etymology: describes the change and variety of colors
- Common Name: Antilles Pinktoe
- Aranea hirtipes Fabricius, 1787
- Mygale hirtipes C. L. Koch, 1836
- Mygale versicolor Walckenaer, 1837 (Female and Male)
- Avicularia versicolor Simon, 1892
The Avicularia versicolor (Antilles pinktoe tarantula), also known as the Martinique Red Tree Spider or the Martinique Pinktoe, is native to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea, but is a popular spider pet due to its docile character and unique coloration.
Antilles pinktoe tarantulas are arboreal (tree-dwelling). They spin elaborate funnel webs in which they spend most of their time. In captivity, cage height is much more important than floor space. Decor consists of tree branches or cork pieces to which the spider can attach its web.
Spiderlings of A. versicolor are bright blue, with a black treetrunk pattern on the abdomen. As they grow, they gradually lose the blue coloration and their carapace turns green, their abdomen red, their legs green with purple hairs and pink tarsi. They are a more colorful version of their cousin, the Pinktoe tarantula. On average, males are slightly more brightly colored than females. Like most tarantulas, males stay much smaller than females- especially in the abdomen.
This genus was also the very first of the tarantulas to be described by science.